Recently, I had someone asking me the following question:
I’m a happy person, but I want to achieve a lot of things like confidence in being around with people etc. If I try to achieve these other things like confidence, it will affect the happiness Im trying to achieve. How can I involve these things into my goals and yet be happy at the same time?
It took me a while to understand his question. (Note: I’ve tried to rephrase his question to make it easier for you to understand). Finally, I realised that he had a conflict between goal setting and happiness.
Then I found out that many people are having similar difficulties as well. On one hand, they are trying to keep themselves happy, one the other hand, they are trying to achieving more things. But when they fail to achieve their goals (or actually when they perceive that they have failed to achieve their goals become unhappy.
This has inspired me to write this article.
The problem experienced by the person with this problem is his goal is adding pressure on him, such that it makes him unhappy. That’s because he hasn’t defined his happiness as a quintessential part of his identity! If he doesn’t do that AND MAKE HAPPINESS ONE OF HIS MOST IMPORTANT GOALS, he will NEVER be happy because goal is meant to be achieved, yet happy is a state of achievement. Can you see these two things are totally opposite to each other?
What he has to do is to be clear in the way he define happiness as part of his identity, and the way he define his goals.
If he wants to achieve his goal of being confident in meeting people, he can define happiness as talking to 1 stranger a week, but he sets his goal as talking to 3 strangers a week. If he defines his happiness and his goal that way, he will be happy if he talks to 1 stranger and very happy if he talks to 2 and extremely happy if he talks to 3!
Remember, happiness begins with how you define your happiness and integrate that as part of your identity. If you mix up your definition of happiness with your goal, you will never be happy!